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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Ricky Gervais Globes-hosting kerfuffle does not move ratings needle

By Lisa de Moraes

Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes for the second year in a row.(NBC)


[This blog post has been updated.]

Ricky Gervais's swan song as host of the Golden Globe Awards attracted the same number of people as his debut performance in '10 - around 17 million viewers - but was down a tick among the 18-49 year olds who are advertisers' - and Gervais's - bread and butter.

And 17 million viewers is still well short of the more than 20 million who tuned in to what had always been the most fawning of trophy shows as recently as 2007.

Tuesday morning Gervais's fans were still peeing into the ocean with Tweets about how great had been Gervais's trophy-show pricking of Hollywood A-listers's inflated egos. And The Reporters Who Have Covered Television for More Than a Few Weeks continued to state the obvious: you may love a certain comic, but three hours of watching the guy die in the room in which he's performing makes for uncomfortable TV. Remember Jon Stewart when he hosted the Oscars? Yeah, it was like that - times 3.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's nightmare was a dream come true for Silver Springs-based Discovery, which wasted no time reminding the press Gervais's new show for its Science Channel would debut this Saturday at 10

"Thank you so much for all the buzz and attention that you gave our Science Channel panel for 'An Idiot Abroad' at [Press Tour]... We think Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington will go down for years in [Press] Tour lore. As our friends at popular award shows have learned, you never know what to expect when working with Ricky," Discovery said in its email, which included a YouTube link to highlights from the panel. [WARNING: some potty language in the video. Literally -- clogged toilet talk]. Of course, the Gervais show for Science Channel isn't live -- it's taped -- so it's easy for Discovery to be brave.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association continued to insist it was shocked that Gervais had behaved like, well Gervais, at Sunday's Globes.

In an attempt to cover its heinie with the stars who'd been the butt of Gervais's jokes at the Globes, HFPA releasing a statement saying:

a) We loved the show. It was a lot of fun and obviously has a lot of people talking.

b) When you hire a comedian like Ricky Gervais, one expects in your face, sometimes outrageous material. Certainly, in this case, he pushed the envelope and occasionally went too far.

c) The HFPA would never condone some of his personal remarks. Overall, however, the show was among the best we've ever had and we were pleased.

Uh huh.

More tellingly, the HFPA's top banana, Philip Berk would not say whether they'd ask Gervais back. Which means they're still reaching out to those A-listers whose feathers had been ruffled.

A-listers like Robert Downey Jr. who - after being introduced by Gervais with the stalest of Betty Ford gags -- stole the show when he asked the ballroom of borrowed rags and gems:

Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show has been pretty good so far, wouldn't you?

Anyway, whether HFPA is brave enough to ask Gervais back is kind of a moot point, given that Gervais had told reporters a few weeks earlier, during a telephone group hug, that Sunday's Globes would definitely be his last hurrah.

We're guessing Gervais had not changed his mind by Sunday, when he introduced Berk by saying, "I just had to help him off the toilet and pop his teeth in."

"I warned them," Gervais said of the HFPA in the early moments of Sunday's trophy show.

In case you missed it, here are some of Ricky Gervais's brighter moments from the Golden Globes:

By Lisa de Moraes  | January 18, 2011; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Next: Regis Philbin stepping down as host of 'Live! with Regis and Whoever' [video]

Comments

I don't think it makes any sense to try and estimate his viewer draw based only on the ratings. Considering there appears to be extemely little interest in movie awards this year (wasn't a great year for films, some were okay but nothing that great - for that matter there were some pretty brutal movies nominated this year just to fill up the spaces) I wouldn't be surprised if viewership would have fallen much further if it hadn't been for him. I had no interest in the awards but PVR'd the whole thing just to fast forward until Gervais was back on. After his Mel Gibson joke last year you know there had to be some good ones this time around. Though I don't think any from this year were near as good as that one.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 18, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

They are saying only the Conservatives liked him and the liberals were not happy.

Personally, I did not care.

But if he wants to go on again I will help him off the throne and pop his teeth in for him.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | January 18, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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